Administration

Cummings accuses Education Dept of blocking probe into attempted removal of internal watchdog

Greg Nash

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has reportedly accused the Department of Education of blocking an investigation from his committee into the attempted removal of the agency’s acting independent watchdog.

Cummings reportedly said that department officials did not turn over documents requested by his committee regarding the Trump administration’s attempt earlier this year to replace its acting inspector general (IG), according to Politico.

{mosads}Politico noted that the refusal to hand over documents comes after acting IG Sandra Bruce began investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s decision to reinstate the federal status of an accreditor of for-profit colleges.

Cummings said his committee has only received seven pages of documents in response to his request, most of them “heavily redacted.”

He added in a four-page letter, written along with committee member Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), that the Education Department is “obstructing our investigation and appears to be part of an unprecedented cover-up by the Trump administration across multiple Executive Branch agencies and departments.”

Cummings’s letter gave the department until June 10 to comply with his requests for documents.

Politico reported that Cummings’s investigation began in January after President Trump chose Phil Rosenfelt, the Education Department’s deputy general counsel, to replace Bruce. The appointment was later rescinded following blowback from Democrats who said the selection was an attempt to interfere with the inspector general’s work.

The Hill has reached out to the Education Department for comment.

Tags Betsy DeVos Department of Education Donald Trump Elijah Cummings House Oversight and Reform Committee Inspector General Mark DeSaulnier

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